San Jose, California – For us as petrolheads first and technology freaks a long way second, the most exciting aspect of the new iOS 11 operating system for iPhones, is a feature called Do Not Disturb While Driving, which does exactly that.
Announced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, on this week in San Jose, it detects when you’re in a moving vehicle and stops calls and text messages from coming through to the screen of your iPhone, keeping the screen dark and storing them instead until the car is switched off – in effect, doing for you what you should be doing yourself.
It also has the option of sending an automatic voice or text reply to contacts listed in Favorites to let them know you’re driving and can’t respond until you reach your destination, so your mother-in-law can’t accuse you of avoiding her.
But what if you’re a passenger in a car and your phone goes to Do Not Disturb mode, even though you’re not driving?
When the phone notifies you that you’re about to go off-air, there’s an option to tell it, “I’m not driving”, which is cool, although it opens up the possibility of lying to your phone to get around the system – but you wouldn’t do that, would you?
The new operating system will be available as an upgrade for iPhone 5 and later models. At the moment it’s available only to developers, but Apple will offer a public beta version late in June, and the system will be officially released at the launch of the new iPhones in the third quarter of 2017.
As far as we’re concerned, it should be mandatory on all cellphones.